“Go on—have one more.” Cook shoved another hot muffin on his plate. “You’ve got a busy day ahead. With all the toing and froing, who knows when you’ll next get to eat.”
Evan hadn’t planned on taking all his meals in the kitchen with the rest of the small compliment of the Brookes family’s servants. He’d worked hard for the last ten years to finally earn a job which came with its own furnished apartment above the stables, and after an eternity of sharing, he had been rather looking forward to being all alone in his own little space in Doughty Mews a few streets away. He was used to being alone. Much preferred it because nobody else had control of his life. But he was new, keen to make a good impression and hadn’t yet found the right moment to tell motherly cook that she didn’t need to mother him quite so much. But as Lily wandered in, he conceded that eating in the house certainly did have its attractions and not all of them were down to the food.
“Good morning, everyone.” She smiled at the four of them, her eyes drifting to his for a second and lingering before she dragged them away. “Still snowing, I see.”
Which meant she’d be riding next to him again this morning, hopefully snuggled beneath the same blanket they had shared days ago. He still wasn’t quite over the profound effect that she had had upon him. Silly really, when they’d only shared it for five minutes before he’d dropped her at the theatre with Mrs Brookes. Yet there had been something magical about those five minutes of amiable conversation. The warm press of her thigh and arm against his as the snow fell all around them. Certainly enough to give his body ideas.
“There’s been a change of plan.” Miss Faith, the eldest of the Brookes three daughters suddenly barged in shaking her head apologetically. “But then again isn’t there always.” She smiled at him specifically. “You’ll get used to this, Evan, as one of my sisters is terminally late for everything and my parents are beyond disorganised. Now instead of dropping mama at the theatre first, you’ll need to take papa and me to Berkeley Square before we go to Chelsea as Lord Stephen has enquired about a commission, and mama has decided to postpone her rehearsal till this afternoon.”
“Are Miss Charity and Miss Hope still going shopping?”
“They are but…” She winced as she glanced at Lily. “Charity has decided she needs to change her outfit.”
“Which means I’ll need to redo her hair.” When Lily smiled, she had a dimple. Just the one, buried amongst all the pretty freckles.
“And mama wants you to meet her later at the theatre, Lily, so that she can change there to head to Lady Bulphan’s a little later than the rest of us. Which means, Evan, you’ll need to make another extra trip.”
One all alone with Lily.
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